My new (old) travel policy

In the past years, I adjusted my personal travel habits to be more ecological and sustainable. Now I decided to step up the game.

Abandoned Airplane (Pexels)

I already decided for some fundamental rules to my personal, 90,000+km / year, travel- and commuting habits:

  • I don’t use any plane for distances short of 1,500km
  • I travel mainly by car and by train
  • When travelling by train, I use the 1st class and keep distance by booking single-seated options

My car has – for the past 12 years – always been a Diesel, with all modern cleaning technologies. I have used a BahnCard 50, which grants me 50% rebate of all inner-German travels via train, at least for what Deutsche Bahn covers. Since there is no such concept as peak- or offpeak-fares, this was very viable and it worked out once you had reached a spending of 500,– EUR per year.

After doing some research into feasibility and after wanting to improve upon my ecological footprint, I decided this as my plans for the next two years to be incorporated:

  • I don’t fly within Europe at all
  • My next car will be 100% electric
  • Commuting to the office will be done with zero carbon local footprint only
  • I will upgrade to a BahnCard 100 1st class
  • I will use my bike for short distance commuting (up to ~25km each direction)
  • I will just use a none-electrical car if it can not be circumvented
  • I will add solar panels to my roof to produce energy locally

The goal is to reduce my car-bound travels from roughly 70,000km in 2019 to appr. 35,000km in 2021. I shall use a car only for travelling, when there is no appropriate train connection available, or when I have to carry heavy or bulky luggage. All other trips can be done by train, given the health situation allows for it.

The most challenging aspect will be the switch to a fully electrical car, since I expect a minimum of 500km of range – not on paper, but in real-life situations, such as when driving on an Autobahn with 130km/h.

Tesla Model S (Source)

I understand currently only some Tesla Models matching these requirements – all of the German engineered cars may have such a range on paper, but not in real life. On the other hand, it will be very rewarding – I anyhow used 100% renewable energy for the past 10 years, I am planning to add some solar panels to my house’s roof, ideally resulting in being able to sustain my local travels from my own energy sources and circumventing charging points for most of the time.

So, my new travel habits will be more:

  • More sustainable
  • More ecological
  • More healthy

To me, this is the right way to go, even if it is more expensive then continuing with the traditional approaches.

What do you think?

The wing

This is a closeup look over the “Tante Ju”‘s right wing. I like the way this looks – old and modern at the same time.

 24mm f/4 1/640s ISO3200, Canon 6d Mk I with Canon EF 24-105mm IS USM L-lens

24mm f/4 1/640s ISO3200, Canon 6d Mk I with Canon EF 24-105mm IS USM L-lens

Notice the corrugated iron, which is polished and reflects the ambient light so nicely.

This specific foto was taken in Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin, a place, you should always consider visiting when being in that city.

Find more information about the JU 52 in “Flugzeug Legende Ju 52” by Helmuth Erfurth (Amazon DE) or in “Junkers Ju 52: A History 1930-1945” by Robert Forsyth and Eddie Creek (Amazon US).

The plane

The JU-52 airplane was one of the most successful planes before the Second World War. It is often referred to as “Tante Ju” or “Aunt Ju”.

 24mm f/4 1/640s ISO3200, Canon 6d Mk I with Canon EF 24-105mm IS USM L-lens

24mm f/4 1/640s ISO3200, Canon 6d Mk I with Canon EF 24-105mm IS USM L-lens

It was brought into duty in 1932 and was built until the early 50s. German Airline Lufthansa selected the JU-52 as its main plane in the early 30s. As a speciality, this plane’s exterior was made from corrugated iron. 

This specific foto was taken in Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin, a place, you should always consider visiting when being in that city.

Find more information about the JU 52 in “Flugzeug Legende Ju 52” by Helmuth Erfurth (Amazon DE) or in “Junkers Ju 52: A History 1930-1945” by Robert Forsyth and Eddie Creek (Amazon US).

Image Gallery: Deutsches Technikmuseum October 2017

Last week, my family and I visited the Deutsche Technikmuseum in Berlin, a very interesting place. Here you can virtually stroll through history, you can experience trains, planes, cars, ships as well as photography or jewellery.

 24mm f/4 1/2500s ISO800, Canon 6d Mk I with Canon EF 24-105mm IS USM L-lens

24mm f/4 1/2500s ISO800, Canon 6d Mk I with Canon EF 24-105mm IS USM L-lens

I uploaded many images into a gallery. Some of these pictures were already featured in my blog or my instagram account, most of them are not and perhaps won’t ever be.

You can find the gallery here.

So, happy exploring – and leave me a comment!